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Five Things to Know on Feb. 14: Speak Out on School Budget

An essential get-me-going daily morning column from Hamilton-Wenham Patch.

Today is Thursday, Feb. 14. Here are five things you need to know in Hamilton and Wenham:

1. Clouds: Thursday is forecasted to start cloudy with an increasing chance of sun coming out later. Temperatures should again get up into the 40s.

2. Pool: The second of two open forums to talk about the Patton Park pool is coming up on Thursday afternoon. The forum will be at 1 p.m. in the meeting room at Hamilton-Wenham Library where the pool committee wants to hear from the public what it would want in a new aquatic facility at the park.

3. Chocolate: The 11th annual Salem So Sweet, Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival had originally been planned to wrap up on Thursday, but due to last weekend’s blizzard it has been extended through the coming weekend. Ice sculptures will be in display this weekend all over the downtown area, which was postponed from last weekend.

4. News: The best way to keep up with Hamilton-Wenham Patch is to get our free morning newsletter in your e-mail inbox. If you do not get it, you can sign up for free.

5. School Budget: The Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee is holding a public hearing about the proposed fiscal 2014 budget at Buker Elementary School on Thursday night. It starts at 7 p.m. and members of the public can let the committee know what they think about the budget.

To find out what is going on today in Hamilton and Wenham, check out our events listings.

kerstin locherie February 15, 2013 at 07:21 AM
Impact on Property Taxes and Other Local Revenues State budget cuts are also placing upward pressure on property taxes and other local revenues, because increasing these revenues is one of the few ways school districts can compensate for the loss of state funding. Let's face it, Real Estate Taxes are slowly becoming a second mortgage for the 99%. Warren Buffet has billions, but abides by a budget ? Given the precipitous decline in property values since the start of the recession and in many places the political and/or legal difficulty of raising property taxes, raising significant additional revenue through the property tax will likely be very difficult for school districts in the coming years. Indeed, property tax collections were 2.8 percent lower in the 12-month period ending in March 2012 than in the previous 12 months, after adjusting for inflation. Real estate people would like convey how rosy business is, but the reality bears out that increased real estate sales have not mitigated the voracious apetite our schools need and consume from year to year. Residents balance their home budgets, but do not hold our schools to the same standard. Can you imagine if a home owner went to town hall and handed a deficit backed check, relying on future employment revenue ? I didn't think so :-) Despite the obstacles to raising local revenues, however, at least a few districts are considering, or have already implemented, property tax increases.

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